Ministry of Justice figures have revealed that registrations of Lasting Powers of Attorney have risen by almost one-fifth compared to the same period the previous year.
Figures for July to September 2022 show that 201,121 Lasting Powers of Attorney or LPAs were registered, an increase of 19% on the same period for 2021.
Earlier figures released by IRN Legal Research also found an increase in applications during the first two quarters of 2022, with a total of 399,109 LPAs registered, a 12.6% increase on the previous year when 354,606 were registered.
The number of LPA registrations has been generally climbing since 2008, with a dip during the pandemic when fewer court workers were available to process requests.
The Ministry of Justice figures for July to September 2022 revealed that 57% of the LPAs registered had female donors while 42% were male donors. Some 52% were over 75 years old.
Why make a Lasting Power of Attorney?
An LPA is a legal document that gives authority to someone to make decisions on your behalf, should you ever become unable to make them yourself.
There are two types of LPA and it is open to you to make one or both types:
- A property and financial affairs LPA; and
- A health and welfare LPA
You can choose one or more trusted friends or family members to be appointed as your attorney. If you appoint more than one attorney, you can either allow them each to make decisions on your behalf separately or you can require them to make all decisions jointly.
If you should lose the mental capacity to manage your affairs and you do not have an LPA in place, your loved ones would not be able to step in to help you. They would need to apply to the Court of Protection for a deputyship order and this can be costly and take months to be dealt with. In the meantime, they would not be able to arrange care for you or pay your bills.
Property and financial affairs LPA
A property and financial affairs LPA gives your attorney the authority to deal with your finances. This could include:
- Managing your bank account
- Paying your bills
- Receiving your benefits
- Making investments on your behalf
- Selling your home, should this become necessary
You can allow your attorney to use the LPA while you still have the mental capacity to make your own decisions if you want, for example, if you are away or if you cannot travel to the bank yourself.
Health and welfare LPA
A health and welfare LPA gives your attorney the authority to deal with issues such as:
- Decide where you will live
- Consent to or refuse medical treatment on your behalf
- Make decisions about your day to day life
Unlike a property and financial affairs LPA, a health and welfare LPA can only be used in the event that you lose the mental capacity to make your own decisions.